Sam Bradford has lingered in the background for the Minnesota Vikings in recent weeks, but now his 2017 season will officially end.
Sam Bradford had the best game of his career in Week 1, as he went 27-for-32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. So right on cue he emerged from the game with a sore left knee, and other than an ill-conceived starting nod in Week 5 he has not played since.
Case Keenum has been functional as the Vikings starting quarterback, as they lead the NFC North at 6-2 coming out of their bye week. Teddy Bridgewater was set to be on the 53-man roster, as his three-week window to be activated expired this week, so the Vikings had to make a corresponding move.
On the heels of news Bradford had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Tuesday, the move to make room for Bridgewater became obvious. Now it’s official.
The 2017 season that started so well for Bradford is officially over. He had become a non-factor in the Vikings’ quarterback mix, though, especially after how feeble he looked against the Bears in Week 5 before coming out of that game early.
Bradford is also in the final year of his contract, so his walk-year didn’t go as planned after a solid season in 2016. The Vikings look smart for wanting to see Bradford follow up last season with another good, fully healthy campaign this year before making a multi-year commitment. That said, the lack of good quarterbacks around the league should allow Bradford to find a one-year deal somewhere next spring.
Bradford was set up to succeed at a high level this year, with a full offseason to work with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and build rapport with receivers. But his twice surgically repaired left knee would not allow it. As shocking as it would have seemed a year ago, Bradford has been deemed less fit to play than Bridgewater.